When staff abuse inmates
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Share the facts about prisoner rape – and read the stories of the people behind the numbers.
Fact: One in eight youth in detention is sexually abused. Youth like Cyryna.
At 15, Cyryna was arrested for running away. She was sent to a youth facility in Hawaii, her home state, where she was threatened constantly by staff. They said that if she ever acted up, they would send her to the section for boys. Cyryna was terrified, knowing that, as a transgender girl, she would be even more vulnerable there.
One day, all of the girls were transferred to another facility – everyone except Cyryna, who was moved to the boys’ section.
Predictably, Cyryna became a target for sexual abuse almost instantly. Staff either ignored the abuse or, worse still, encouraged it. As Cyryna put it, “My time there was a living hell.”
Cyryna’s experience is heartbreakingly common. One in eight youth detainees – more than 12 percent – is sexually abused. For transgender youth like Cyryna, the rates are nine times higher.
Right now, can you share the facts about sexual abuse in youth detention with your friends on Facebook and Twitter?